Appellate

  • April 03, 2020

    Kansas Top Court Turns Off Extra Fee For Renewables Users

    Kansan public utilities' proposed separate rate structure for customers who produce their own renewable energy but are still connected to the electricity grid is discriminatory and goes against well established state law, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday.

  • April 03, 2020

    Ex-Lawmakers Say Border Wall Emergency Status Was 'Sham'

    Former members of Congress urged the Fifth Circuit on Friday to uphold a ruling blocking the Trump administration from diverting $3.6 billion to border wall construction, arguing that a real national emergency like the COVID-19 outbreak shows that the president's earlier emergency declaration was a "sham."

  • April 03, 2020

    5th Circ. Says Real Estate Co. Can't Skirt FLSA's OT Rules

    A Texas real estate company broke the law when it paid its property tax consultant employees as if the workers were exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act when they actually were not, the Fifth Circuit said Friday.

  • April 03, 2020

    3rd Circ. Revives Immigration Review For Gay Salvadoran

    The Third Circuit on Friday revived a gay Salvadoran man's fight against deportation, finding that both an immigration judge and an immigration court had failed to properly address his evidence and claims that he was raped and threatened by gangs in El Salvador because of his sexual orientation.

  • April 03, 2020

    Split 6th Circ. Says Honeywell Doesn't Owe Retirees Benefits

    Honeywell International Inc. did not violate a 2011 collective bargaining agreement by refusing to pay retirees' health care premiums based on contract language capping its contributions, a split Sixth Circuit ruled, with one judge saying the decision shows how "unfairness has now become a part of our governing law." 

  • April 03, 2020

    5th Circ. Backs Block On West Texas Tribe's Bingo

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday upheld a lower court decision blocking the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo from offering bingo, saying the arguments the Texas tribe raised against state regulation had already been rejected in earlier litigation.

  • April 03, 2020

    4th Circ. Kicks PWC Consultant's Bias Case To Arbitration

    The Fourth Circuit said Friday that PricewaterhouseCoopers can make a consultant arbitrate her race bias claims because a provision barring defense contractors from arbitrating such claims no longer applies, reversing a district court decision letting her stay in court.

  • April 03, 2020

    Mass. Top Court Expands Pretrial Release To Combat Virus

    Massachusetts' high court on Friday made it easier for judges to free inmates who are awaiting trial, citing the "urgent and unprecedented" public health crisis prompted by the novel coronavirus.

  • April 03, 2020

    Pipelines, FERC Butt Heads At DC Circ. Over Nixed Tax Perk

    Two pipeline companies clashed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in a pair of intertwined hearings before the D.C. Circuit Friday, as a three-judge panel heard appeals challenging a new FERC policy doing away with an income tax allowance for pipeline master limited partnerships, a key tax perk.

  • April 03, 2020

    Fed. Circ. Unwinds Acer's Trade Secrets Win Over Intellisoft

    The Federal Circuit vacated a Northern District of California summary judgment win for computer maker Acer America Corp. on allegations it misappropriated trade secrets from Intellisoft, ruling Friday the case should never have been removed to federal court.

  • April 03, 2020

    Fed. Circ. Lifts Bar On Eye Device Maker's Speech In IP Fight

    The Federal Circuit on Friday threw out an injunction order barring eye disease treatment maker BlephEx LLC from publicly saying that a competing business infringed its patent, finding that the injunction violated BlephEx's free speech.

  • April 03, 2020

    Justices Asked To Clarify Gateway Arbitration Question

    The U.S. Supreme Court should revisit a multimillion-dollar contract dispute between dental equipment company Henry Schein Inc. and competitor Archer & White Sales Inc. in order to take up a key gateway question of arbitration law that has sown confusion for contracting parties, a leading arbitration scholar at Columbia Law School said.

  • April 03, 2020

    Texas Justices To Hear Insurer's Bid To End Settlement Suit

    The Texas Supreme Court agreed Friday to review an insurer's bid to escape claims it owes a client $100,000 for allegedly negligently negotiating down a settlement in an auto accident suit.

  • April 03, 2020

    Pa. Jails Should Follow CDC COVID-19 Guidance, Justices Say

    County jails and prisons in the Keystone State don’t have to release wide swaths of prisoners in response to the novel coronavirus, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania said Friday, but they may have to consider releasing some if they're too crowded to stop the spread of the disease.

  • April 03, 2020

    Injured Cheerleader's $2.6M Trial Win Scrapped On Appeal

    A California state appeals court has ordered a new trial on whether a production company is liable for a former college cheerleader's injury during rehearsal for a film about the exploitation of women in cheerleading, tossing the cheerleader's $2.6 million trial win because the jury wasn’t given a crucial instruction.

  • April 03, 2020

    Phoenix Ride-Hail Fee Constitutional, Ariz. Justices Find

    Airport ride-hailing fees levied by Phoenix don’t violate the Arizona Constitution's ban on imposing or increasing service taxes or fees, the state Supreme Court has found, a decision one observer said could have a ripple effect outside of Arizona.

  • April 03, 2020

    Wash. Justices Won’t Review Seattle’s Rejected ‘Wealth Tax’

    The Washington Supreme Court on Friday declined to review an appeals court decision invalidating Seattle’s so-called wealth tax and voiding a 35-year-old piece of state law, allowing cities to levy a flat property tax on income.

  • April 03, 2020

    FERC Rightly Cut Grid Rate Incentives, DC Circ. Hears

    A coalition of Midwest utilities, consumer groups and utility regulators told the D.C. Circuit Friday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was right to slash incentives from units of transmission company ITC Holdings Inc. following a 2016 merger.

  • April 03, 2020

    Texas Justices To Hear Gun Seller's Bid To Nix Shooting Suits

    The Texas Supreme Court agreed Friday to review sporting goods retailer Academy Sports & Outdoor's bid to escape four lawsuits brought by families of victims of the Sutherland Springs mass shooting that left 26 dead in 2017.

  • April 03, 2020

    2nd Circ. Says NY Armored Car Drivers Can Get OT

    The Second Circuit on Friday revived overtime claims in a proposed wage-and-hour class action from drivers for IBI Armored Services, a New York armored vehicle services company, saying a district court improperly determined the drivers weren’t entitled to overtime because of their exempt status.

  • April 03, 2020

    Overhaul Kinder Morgan's $23M Contract Win, 11th Circ. Told

    A coal company that was charged $23 million in fees for not using a Kinder Morgan facility argued to the Eleventh Circuit that the infrastructure giant can't collect on a contract it wasn't abiding by.

  • April 03, 2020

    NJ Utilities Had No Duty To Suspend Service Ahead Of Sandy

    Electric and gas utilities in New Jersey did not have a duty to preemptively suspend service before customers' homes were destroyed in fires during Superstorm Sandy since state law did not require such action, a state appellate panel said Friday in declining to revive the customers' suits against the companies.

  • April 03, 2020

    Chesapeake Royalty Suit Is Time-Barred, 6th Circ. Says

    The Sixth Circuit on Friday said Ohio landowners had not shown that a Chesapeake Energy Corp. unit hid their underpayment of natural gas royalties, which would have allowed them to evade a four-year statutory deadline to sue the company.

  • April 03, 2020

    Texas Justices Say Subcontractor Fees Part Of Cost Of Goods

    A Texas oil rig repair company is allowed to include certain subcontractor payments in its cost of goods sold in calculating the company's franchise tax, the state Supreme Court found Friday, upholding an appellate court's decision.

  • April 03, 2020

    Virtual 2nd Circ. Off To Smooth Start But No End In Sight

    The Second Circuit's foray into internet-based appellate review in order to practice social distancing and help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus is off to a good start, though streaming traffic "wouldn't knock your socks off," and the plan is to continue, a court official said on Friday.

Expert Analysis

  • Benefits Of Pandemic-Prompted Court Extensions Are Limited

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    State and federal courts are canceling proceedings and pushing out deadlines in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but the relief is complex and necessarily incomplete in its power to relieve parties from jurisdictional deadlines, says Neil Lloyd at Schiff Hardin.

  • Bid Protest Spotlight: Availability, Disparate Treatment, Codes

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    In this month's bid protest roundup, James Tucker and Markus Speidel at MoFo look at three March decisions: The Government Accountability Office considered alleged unavailability of key personnel, the Federal Circuit set precedent for establishing disparate treatment, and the Court of Federal Claims adopted a test to review North American Industry Classification System code designations.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Shaming Of Attys Is Troubling Even During Pandemic

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    Judges have recently rebuked attorneys for wasting judicial resources to resolve minor issues during the COVID-19 crisis, including in a trademark lawsuit over unicorn drawings. But it is unfair to publicly flog lawyers for doing what they are trained to do, says Ronald Minkoff, chairman of Frankfurt Kurnit's professional responsibility group.

  • 2nd Circ. Dismissal Affirms The Limits Of Civil RICO Claims

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    The Second Circuit's recent decision in Halvorssen v. Simpson makes clear that, while courts have permitted the use of civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act suits in disputes involving legitimate businesses rather than crime syndicates, there are real limits to these claims, say attorneys at Dechert.

  • Calif. Ruling Guides Employers On Unlimited Vacation Policies

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    The California Court of Appeal’s recent decision that a company owed former employees unpaid vacation benefits in McPherson v. EF Intercultural Foundation reminds employers to ensure that unlimited time off policies cannot be characterized as a ploy to deny employee benefits, say Anthony Oncidi and Cole Lewis at Proskauer.

  • Don't Be Social Media Distancing: LinkedIn Tips For Lawyers

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    While we need to be physically apart at this time, lawyers and firms should be leaning into social media to reinforce and build relationships, and help guide clients through the coronavirus crisis, says marketing consultant Stefanie Marrone.

  • Led Zeppelin Ruling Is Already Affecting Copyright Litigation

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    The first two decisions applying the Ninth Circuit’s Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin decision indicate that the recent trajectory of music copyright infringement law appears to be changing in favor of defendants, limiting what courts find protectable and what they permit a jury to consider, say attorneys at Proskauer.

  • Justices' Citgo Ruling Offers Shippers Contractual Clarity

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent opinion in Citgo v. Frescati provides shippers, brokers and counsel with assurance that maritime shipping contracts' safe berth clauses are an express warranty of safety, allowing future agreements to be drafted with greater certainty, say Christopher Nolan and Robert Denig at Holland & Knight.

  • Remote Depositions: Coming To A Home Office Near You

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    Recent Texas state court orders indicate judges are increasingly requiring parties and nonparties to submit to remote depositions amid the pandemic. However, there are inherent drawbacks to such depositions, including limitations on attorneys’ ability to assess witness credibility, says Edward Duffy at Reed Smith.

  • Ways Lawyers Can Support The Most Vulnerable Right Now

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    In this global health and economic crisis, it is essential that lawyers recommit to inclusion, and fight for colleagues, clients, community members and friends who are most at risk, says Dru Levasseur, head of the National LGBT Bar Association's inclusion coaching and consulting program.

  • Opinion

    Congress Must Bolster Bias Remedies After Comcast Ruling

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s Comcast v. National Association of African American-Owned Media ruling still allows plaintiffs to fight summary judgment in discrimination cases, but Congress must step in to ensure their ability to win relief at trial, says Michael Lieder at Mehri & Skalet.

  • How Appellate Practitioners Can Adapt To Pandemic Measures

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    With public access to most federal courts of appeal restricted during the pandemic, some court deadlines will be more flexible, giving appellate practitioners some time to adjust to new requirements for electronic briefs and remote oral arguments, says Tim Droske at Dorsey & Whitney.

  • Confronting The Challenges Of Virtual Mediation

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    Conducting mediation via videoconference amid the ongoing pandemic poses significant challenges, including the difficulty of reading people when you are not with them in person. Daniel Garrie at JAMS shares six tips to overcome the limitations.

  • 3 Steps To Building Effective Teams While On Lockdown

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    When your team is working from different locations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, don’t default to just sending emails. Collaboration is much easier when team members are also communicating in real time over the phone or through videoconferences, say William Oxley and Meghan Rohling Kelly at BakerHostetler.

  • Opinion

    Pa. Asbestos Ruling Ignores Science And Hurts Defendants

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    The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's recent decision in Roverano v. John Crane Inc., holding that asbestos diseases are incapable of apportionment, is unfortunate for defendants, as it disregards numerous scientific studies and the role of juries in asbestos cases, say Gregory McNamee and Erin Miter Scanlon at Goldberg Segalla.

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